Azhar Vadi – Cii News, Pic: richgibson.com- May 30, 2012
The Cape Town Mayoral committee has approved the awarding of the freedom of the city to US President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle.
The decision now has to follow further consultative processes including discussions with the office of the South African president, Jacob Zuma, before the official and final decision can be taken.
The move is likely to upset South Africans who vehemently opposed the move to honour the Obamas by the Cape Town Council headed by Mayor Patricia De Lille.
The Mayor was unavailable for comment on Wednesday morning but mayoral committee member, Alderman Dmitry-Qualy, confirmed to Cii that the approval had been granted by the City.
“On Monday council considered the issue on the recommendation of the awarding of the Freedom of the City to Barack and Michelle Obama. That was approved but it now has to go through other formal processes including consultation with the President of South Africa.”
The Zuma Administration is now likely to find itself in a tough position of having to possibly acknowledge Obama despite overt criticism of his foreign policy decisions and disregard for human life in various conflict regions of the world.
Peter L. Bergen writing in the New York Times on April 28, 2012, noted in his opening lines that, “The president who won the Nobel Peace Prize less than nine months after his inauguration has turned out to be one of the most militarily aggressive American leaders in decades.”
Ironically he notes, “The president used the Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech as an occasion to articulate his philosophy of war. He made it very clear that his opposition to the Iraq war didn’t mean that he embraced pacifism — not at all.”
The idea to give Obama the Freedom of Cape Town city is a move spearheaded by the Democratic Alliance, a party in opposition to Zuma’s ruling African National Congress.
Large swathes of the South African public are also opposed to the foreign policies of the Americans, especially its support for Zionist Israel, the illegal invasion of Iraq and non-sanctioned drone attacks in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen that have left over 1000 innocent civilians dead.
Now that De Lille and her committee have pushed through the move in the city, it will force the South African president to make another tough decision.
Will he accept the proposal of the party hell bent on seeing the ANC removed from power by approving the honouring of a man being called “Warrior Chief”?
Or will he listen to the voice of reason and justice at the risk of annoying Uncle Sam?
Tags: Freedom of Cape Town, Obama